In his 1954 short story, “The Cheapest Nights,” Yusuf Idris tells the story of Abdel Karim, a peasant struggling to make ends meet in a small village in the Egyptian delta (Idris and Wassef 1954). The story revolves around Abdel Karim’s attempts to find a way to fill the hours of the evening after his work in the fields is done. With six children he can barely feed and no money, even the simplest evening amusements – drinking tea, smoking a water pipe, sitting in a coffee shop – are beyond his reach. “The Cheapest Nights” of the title are the long, winter nights of darkness when he turns to his wife for comfort with the inevitable result every year of another child he cannot support.